Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe against WikiLeaks's Assange - Times LIVE
   
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Mon May 29 13:19:45 SAST 2017

Swedish prosecutor drops rape probe against WikiLeaks's Assange

AFP | 2017-05-19 11:35:31.0
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears on screen via video link during a news conference at the Frontline Club in London, Britain February 5, 2016. Assange should be allowed to go free from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and be awarded compensation for what amounts to a three-and-a-half-year arbitrary detention, a U.N. panel ruled on Friday.
Image by: Neil Hall / REUTERS

Swedish prosecutors Friday dropped a seven-year rape investigation into Julian Assange, a legal victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012.

"Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has today decided to discontinue the investigation regarding suspected rape by Julian Assange," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The 45-year-old Australian denies the 2010 allegations which he fears will see him extradited to the United States and tried over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

Assange was questioned in November in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor. He has repeatedly reiterated his innocence and said the sex was consensual.

Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren are set to hold a press conference on the decision at 12:00 (1000 GMT) on Friday.

The investigation has suffered from endless procedural complications since it began in 2010.

The statute of limitations on the rape allegation was due to expire in August 2020.

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